46 thoughts on “My Sewing Room

    • My current favorite thread is Sulky brand 40wt rayon. They have a very pretty luster and my machine “likes” them. I rarely have any breakage or tension problems. One of my favorite colors is Ecru 1082. I will be writing and doing samples of several threads in the next couple of weeks.

      • Interesting my Bernina 820 hates sukly thread – I have adjusted the tention both bobbin and top no luck .

      • Every machine is so different! What thread do you like? I’m always trying new threads, but when I really need to get something done…I go to my tried and true: Sulky on the top and Aurifil in the bobbin!

    • I have been using Isacord polyester thread for my FMQ and it works great on my Janome machine. I just found your site on Facebook and just love all your tutorials for FMQ. Can’t wait to try some of them. Thanks Lori.

  1. Hi there, I looked up Aurifil threads and they have different weights, what weigh is it that you use on your Bernina, thanks so much!

    • Hi Joann,
      For normal stitching and in my bobbin, I use Aurifil 50 wt (orange cone). If I use Aurifil for quilting a large quilt, I use Aurifil 28 wt (gray cone)–it is a little thicker/fuller and I like how it looks for quilting. Hope this helps!

  2. Thanks so much, I really love your quilting, I am just new at this and tried to do some machine quilting and it didn’t look half as pretty as yours. Do you actually use a frame or holder for your material while you quilt? Thanks for answering my question so quickly.

  3. Thanks again!, I have not explored your whole site, am so looking forward to it. It is so sweet of you to answer these questions for people. That hoop looks like it will be calling my name, good thing I don’t live to far from a JoAnn store. Happy sewing and blogging to ya!

    • Hi Sharon, The size of the needle depends on the thread, batting and fabric you are using. I usually start with a size 80 and if that doesn’t do the trick, I go up or down from there. If the needle is leaving visible holes in your fabric, go down to a size 70. If I have other problems, I will switch to a size 80 topstitch or quilting needle. My last resort is to move up to a size 90 needle, though I have done so without holes.

  4. So it’s been almost a year since you posted this I see…can’t believe I didn’t find you sooner! So how are you liking the Bernina 820 by now?? It looks wonderful!! My husband surprised me with a Bernina 550 QE two Christmas’s ago…I know right!!…I love it. 🙂 I kept my old trusty Bernina Nova…I’ve had it for 32 years. It’s like an old friend. I was curious what kind of table you put your machines in. Hubby is helping me build a sewing/quilting table and am looking for what others like most about theirs. 🙂 Thanks…love your site!!

    • I bought a Horn cabinet two years ago. I was reluctant, but I have to admit I love it! I know a lot of people who have made very nice tables themselves. I know you can buy the “air-lift mechanism” from Horn if you want to add it to your cabinet–though I rarely use mine. When you get yours finished, please send us a photo. I am sure everyone would love to see it!

      I have my old Bernina as well. It still sews very well. If it had “needle-down” I’d still be sewing on it I think!

      • My Bernina Nova still runs like a charm too…love the new needle down amongst other things on the new one though too.:) (except the auto-button holes!) yikes on those!! Guess I’ll have to read the manuel…haha! Speaking of needle down…hows the finger doing? Hope it’s not aching too bad and healing up. The coffee cup finger…it needs to heal!! haha! We have the cabinet started…thanks for the info! Going to check it out…been busy moving cows and finsihing up my tomatoes, had to pull them before our 4ft of snow got here Oct. 3rd. So they’ve been in the basement haunting me. As of today they made 22 pints of salsa and are sitting all pretty on my counter. I finished that 1940’s quilt this week too. I ended up only reinforcing all the Great Grandmother’s hand stitching. Felt at this point it was more about her sewing than my quilting. I can’t wait to give it back to my friend. I hope they are happy with it. I can’t believe this quilt was in their storeroom for over 60 years. Will try to send a pic of the cabinet when we get it done. Thanks again.

  5. Hi Lori! I’ve been horseback most of this week gathering, sorting and moving cattle…so glad we hit good weather so didn’t freeze my fanny too bad. We did work on the sewing table in the evenings and got done building it couple days ago. I sanded and stained today and will get a picture to you soon as I get some finish on it. 🙂 Did get a giant floor pillow sewed for a little nephew who turned five and even more fun a pregnancy pillow for my daughter (did I tell you I’m going to be a Gramma!) any how she showed me one online so whipped one up. Hope it helps, her back has been sore.
    I enjoyed all the info on the needles…and reading everyone’s input. (your sis cracked me up too! haha!) Can’t wait to try the chevron trees too! Feeling panicky about getting everything done for Christmas, need to get that table in here and set up shop fast! 🙂
    Do you sew every day? I almost have to schedule a time in my day to sew on something or Life just takes up all my time! I’m getting better at not letting the dust bunnies boss me around though! OH and I just got a new iron…an Oliso…think I spelled that right! What do you use…I have a whole shelf of spitty, gurgly, auto-off too soon, tippy things that I scowl at every time I see them…smiling sweetly at my new iron so far! Doesn’t take much to excite me huh! (I am though!!)

    • Hi Ness, Once again, you get more done in a day than most of us get done in a week!
      As to your question, yes, I sew almost every day…though sometimes for only 15 minutes. If I don’t sew for a few days, I get restless and irritable. Sewing definitely has a calming effect on me.

  6. Hi Lori! I finally took some time to look up details online on the 820 as our local store didn’t carry them…whoa!! Nice machine!! I really like the extra room and I have jumbo bobbin envy!! haha!! I had my 550 floored the whole month of Dec. trying to get done in time for Christmas and “pretend” sewed three different times…Hate when that happens…especially if you went quite a while without noticing!! I do however usually fill several bobbins if I have a big project so I can just pop one in. Do love the 820..it is now on my wishlist. 🙂

  7. Well, I’m new to your site and just looking around. I have a Bernina 820 as well. I bought mine in October 2011. I had been sewing on a 1970’s Singer Touch & Sew that I honestly loved. Back in the day, it was actually top of the line. It has some features on it that newer machines don’t have, unless you want to spend a lot. Which, actually, is what I did, huh? 🙂 I actually cried when I put away my Singer though. I sort of felt like I was cheating on it or a bit of grief or something. It’s weird. I got over it though! I was amazed at how accurately I could sew when I got my Bernina. I always thought i just needed more practice on getting an accurate 1/4″ seam, but it wasn’t all me! YAAY! I really do love my Bernina. I quilt mostly with clear thread (the Harriet Hargrave one from her site) and my old Singer didn’t always play nice with it. The Bernina does though–every time.

  8. I have a sewing machine question to put out there. I had a husquvarna embroidery machine and sold it as I didn t get the use I thought I would. The computer part if it kept me from getting to know it well enough. I have other machines…a kenmore that I have had from new and put a lot of time on and works well. A Janomi the I has also had from new and seems to be my go to machine when my Singers(5) are not working right or if im needing a longer stich git vinyl or canvas. I also have a hand crank that I started quilting with at our cottage that had no hydro. I try to do all the maintance work on the machines as I can to keep my costs down.

    Ok here s the question I d like to buy one machine that will do everything so that im not jumping from one to another. Im not really looking at a.computerized machine. I would like as many different stiches as possible as I have just started to play around with applique. I do the majority of my quilts as donations and gifts so most if my money goes to making of the quilts…supplies
    I purchased a Ken Quilt at Christmas time for a song and it has filled the gap for machine quilting…first quilt I did in January worked out better than I could have hope for.
    sorry i can see that this is a lot to ask but your thoughts will be very helpful.

  9. I too had problems deciding on machines. Also have lots of machines. I wanted a nine inch throat, to make quilting easier. I chose a Juki. Never heard of it, but it was recommended several times by long arm quilters as a more economical mid size machine, before I decide if I want to spend the big bucks for a long arm. My guy built me a frame and I used it to piece and then quilt, a really beautiful quilt (if I do say so myself). My first try at free motion using a frame. I love it. It wasn’t cheap, right at a thousand dollars, but worth every penny.

  10. Hi Lori
    by chance, I got to your blog. I live in the Switzerland and I am a quilt beginner. I’m impressed by your work. real works of art. You are a true artist.
    That brings color, life and joy in the everyday. I’m so glad that I found you. Who knows, maybe one day i can do one of your Patterns as well. Then I take a picture and send it to you. I wish you a creative new year. IRIS.
    sorry, my english is not so good.

      • helo Lori, I am very pleasd that you answered me. Once i sewed one of your great patterns i will write you as i did it. Thank you fort he beautiful patterns, I like the bumbel Bee and the Dragonfly very, very much.. Unfortunately i dont have time in the next few days for my sewing machine, but i’m going to start as soon as possible.

  11. I’ve just recently found your blog. Thank you for the tutorials on free machine embroidery. I have a newer Bernina 830. I am curious – when you use your 820, do you use the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) to do your machine quilting?

      • I am so glad somebody asked this question about the BSR. I have been so tempted to sell my very loved Elna Expressive 860 for a big loss and upgrade to a Bernina 880 (I think that’s what it is). That BSR sure is a sweet feature (along with a lot of other cool features like almost double the bobbin). $14k didn’t seem like a whole lot when I was drooling over the machine, but now that the machine is not in front of me, I’m like, “I could buy a decent motorcycle for that price” LOL!
        And I had read some reviews on Amazon. Most were on the 830 (I think) and many were negative (breaking and reliability not there).

  12. Lori, I just found your blog! I love your tutorials. I am guessing you quilt on your bernina 820, is that right? I have been tossing around the idea of getting a long arm machine. I have been trying to quilt a 100 x 100 size quilt for my daughter and have just been having an awful time with the weight. Your work is so gorgeous I think I am going to try some of your ideas and keep working at it. I quilt on a Bernina 830 (new one). It has great space but you still have to manage the bulk. How do you do it?

    • Just break it down into small bites. Use banquet tables around your sewing table to help support the weight. Take frequent breaks.

  13. Hi, neighbour! Greetings from Manitoba. I just found you from Vicki Welch’s Field Trips in Fibre newsletter. I bought an 820 but she kinda got buried during a rabbit trail down the mixed media path. This year its back to my first luv- fibre. I have Nina nicely tucked into a prominent corner of my playroom and I’m dusting off my machine skills. I did learn to fmq without a BSR and so I’m finding I’m actually better without it. I have lots of catching up to do. I’m sew glad to meet you!!!

  14. Hi, Lori! I just found your blog and am hoping you still answer questions!! I have had a horrible time finding a good marking tool. Could you please share what you use to mark your lines and such before you start quilting? Thank you so much! BTW – LOVE your free motion designs!!!

    • I got mine from the BERNINA store. I’ve seen them on Amazon–“bent tweezers” or “sewing tweezers” or “serger tweezers”.

  15. IF you wait to put pictures of your sewing room until it is clean you will never post them! LOL We ALL have a mess when we sew so we over look it and would love to see your room please.

We'd LOVE to hear! Please reply...